By “Karabakh Human Rights Awareness Campaign”
An organization ironically called European Center for Law and Justice initiated a petition demanding the suspension of Azerbaijan’s membership in the Council of Europe. A closer look at the petition reveals its contradiction with both law and justice.
“Karabakh Human Rights Awareness Campaign” analyzed the legality of the demands reflected in the petition.
- To suspend membership of the Council of Europe on the same grounds on which Russia’s membership was suspended
In sharp contrast to Russian invasion in Ukraine:
- Azerbaijan acted, on its own territory and in accordance with international law. USEFUL REMINDER: Self-proclaimed regime in Nagorno-Karabakh was not recognized by any country in the world, including Armenia.
- Azerbaijan’s operation was directed against armed groups that were a factor of instability in the region. From the point of view of international law, armed groups of a non-existent entity are considered illegal. The disarmament of these formations was also agreed upon by Armenia in the ceasefire agreement of November 10, 2020.
- The operation lasted less than a day. Visual data confirmed the presence in Karabakh of hundreds of pieces of heavy equipment, artillery and air defense systems, millions of ammunition, and dozens of fortified areas. At the same time, the UN mission that visited the region twice reported NO destruction of any civilian infrastructure. Thus, the operation was aimed exclusively at the military infrastructure of illegal armed groups.
- Accusations on ethnic cleansing
Petition contains a fallacy of misuse of the concepts while presenting “mass exodus” as “ethnic cleansing”. The latter is characterized 2 critical elements namely “violent COERCION against the victim group to flee” and “prevention of its return”
However, the available data from independent (including Armenian) sources clearly demonstrates:
- NO PROOF OF COERCION:
- There was a no evidence of violent actions against Armenians leaving Karabakh in the broadcast of a number of international media.
- Moreover the absence of threats against the civilian population was also confirmed by the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, who on September 21 stated:
“The situation is generally stable. Information about mass casualties among civilians does not correspond to reality. Today, in our assessment, there is no direct threat to the civilian population of Nagorno-Karabakh”.
- The absence of coercion was also confirmed by the representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Armenia, Kavita Belani:
“I know that no incidents have been recorded so far. There were no reported cases of cruel treatment. It’s a long trip, traffic jams are a difficult situation for people. However, no cases of cruel treatment by Azerbaijanis have been recorded.”
- According to the UN mission report of October 2, between 50 and 1,000 ethnic Armenians remain in Karabakh.
- NO PROOF OF PREVENTION
To the contrary – Azerbaijani authorities both declared guarantees of safety for Karabakh Armenians willing to stay and launched a special e-tool for those who might wish to return.Web-based portal (www.reintegration.gov.az) contains in several languages, including Armenian, information on social, economic and legal aspects on integration of Karabakh Armenians into Azerbaijani society.
Thus, an objective analysis does not support occurrence of either “coercion” or “prevention to return” to support the claims to present mass exodus of Karabakh Armenians as “ethnic cleansing”.
- Accusations on destruction of Armenian religious heritage
- According to the report from the UN mission that visited Karabakh in early October, “no damage was recorded to civilian public infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and residential buildings, cultural and religious sites”.
- Moreover, the Azerbaijani side demonstrated video proofs of its police taking under protection sites of religious importance to Armenians.
“Karabakh Human Rights Awareness Campaign” firmly believes that the long enough war torn Karabakh region needs reconciliation between Armenians and Azerbaijanis. There is no reconciliation without trust and there is no trust without truth. It takes truth and trust not political manipulations with the fate of Karabakh Armenians to pave a way to just and sustainable peace in the region. The Campaign will continue its work to reveal the truth and promote true reconciliation between communities but also help those Armenians who might wish to return to Karabakh to live in dignity with ensured security of their fundamental human rights.
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